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Department of Film Studies

Doctoral program «Film, Photography, and Other Visual Media»

Funded by swissuniversities and the Swiss University Conference, this doctoral program is supported by the Graduate Campusof the University of Zurich (for the periods of 2013–2014, 2015–2016, and 2017–2020).

This doctoral program is a joint project of the Department of Film Studies at the University of Zurich (UZH) and the Section d’histoire et esthétique du cinema at the University of Lausanne (UNIL).

The program examines cinema/film, photography, and other visual arts, addressing issues of media history. Topics include image and sound perception; technology; architecture; general audiovisual culture; issues of production, diffusion, and reception; and aesthetic and institutional discourses and practices.

The research profiles of the two departments complement each other, and the doctoral program features pluridisciplinary approaches: epistemology, film history, cultural history, discourse analysis, aesthetics, and the study of representation.

With this program, Switzerland’s only two academic Film Studies departments continue their cooperation, first established in 2006 with the Master’s degree program of the SWISS CINEMA NETWORK (supported by the SUC), and the ProDoc program «Discourses and Practices of Cinema and the Audiovisual» (2009–2014, funded by the SNSF).

Every year, the Section d’histoire et esthétique du cinema at UNIL and the Department of Film Studies at UZH co-organize several events, in cooperation with their international partner institutions (see below).

At irregular intervals, the program also participates in events and informal exchange with other doctoral programs at UZH, facilitating interdisciplinary dialog (see associated programs below).

Events and activities for doctoral candidates

The doctoral program is open to all doctoral candidates and postdocs of the two departments. It offers the following events and activities:

  • a regular research colloquium is held several times per semester at the respective home institution. Once a year, PhD candidates attend the other institution’s colloquium.
  • at the annual national workshop, researchers from both departments present their research projects and discuss methodological and theoretical issues.
  • an international conference or workshop dedicated to a special topic is held twice a year, at UZH in the spring, and at UNIL in the fall semester. In addition to international guest speakers, doctoral candidates are invited to submit paper presentations.
  • participation in conferences and workshops of the associated programs at UZH (see below)
  • participation in conferences and workshops of the international partner institutions (see below)
  • other events (guest lectures, lecture series etc.) of the UZH and UNIL departments or associated programs

Partner programs and institutions

Associated programs at UZH

International partner institutions of the Department of Film Studies at UZH

  • University of Utrecht (Prof. Frank Kessler)
  • University of Trier (Prof. Martin Loiperdinger)
  • Goethe University Frankfurt, Department of Art History (Prof. Regine Prange)
  • Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris III (Prof. Raphaëlle Moine)
  • Charles University Prague (Prof. Ivan Klimes)
  • University of California, Berkeley (Prof. Tony Kaes, Prof. Deniz Göktürk)

International partner institutions of the Section d’histoire et esthétique du cinema at UNIL



Program directors:

Prof. Dr. Margrit Tröhler (UZH)

Prof. Dr. Maria Tortajada (UNIL)

Collaborating faculty :

Prof. Dr. Barbara Flückiger (UZH)

Prof. Dr. Fabienne Liptay (UZH)

Prof. Dr. Jörg Schweinitz (UZH)

Prof. Dr. François Albera (UNIL)

Prof. Dr. Alain Boillat (UNIL)

Prof. Dr. Olivier Lugon (UNIL)


International conferences

2016 – UNIL: 17. – 18. November
Exposer les savoirs à travers la photographie: entre pédagogie et communication de masse / Displaying Knowledge through Photography: Between Education and Mass Communication 
Organisation: Prof. Olivier Lugon in collaboration with the Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University (Leicester)

2016 – UZH: 9. – 10. Juni
Hugo Münsterberg – Diskurse, Kontexte, Rezeption
Organisation: Prof. Dr. Jörg Schweinitz
Conference programme Münsterberg 2016 (PDF, 55 KB)

2015 – UNIL: 14.–16. Oktober
Usages des archives : des sources aux pratiques
Organisation: Prof. Benoît Turquety / Prof. Leonardo Quaresima (Udine)

2015 – UZH: May 28–29,
Post/Production: Film and Photography in the Making
Organisation: Prof. Dr. Fabienne Liptay, Patricia Vidovic

2014 – UNIL: November 18–19,
Le mouvement du cinéma. Théories et pratiques: Histoire et Historiographie
Organisation: Prof. Dr. Maria Tortajada in cooperation with André Gaudreault (Montréal) and Laurent Le Forestier (Rennes)

2014 Description «Le mouvement du cinéma» (PDF, 277 KB)

2014 – UZH: June 12–14,
Die Ironie des Films /The Irony of Film  
Organisation: Prof. Dr. Jörg Schweinitz, Kristina Köhler, Selina Hangartner

2013 – UNIL: October 17–19
Series of Fixed Images: The Specter of Movement
Organisation: Prof. Dr. Alain Boillat

2013 program «L'image fixe» (PDF, 941 KB)


2013 – UZH: June 12–14, 
Le paradigme sémiologique et la pensée «cinématographique» de Christian Metz
Organisation: Prof. Dr. Margrit Tröhler, Dr. des Guido Kirsten, Dr. des Julia Zutavern

For further information on upcoming events, see the German version of this website.

Weiterführende Informationen


Doctoral program «Film, Photography, and Other Visual Media»

Coordination und contact

Marius Kuhn for the Department of Film Studies at the University of Zurich;
Valentine Robert for the Section d’histoire et esthétique du cinéma at the University of Lausanne.